Kelowna, Canada, December 16, 2021 / TRAVELINDEX / The Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) is pleased to announce that the GreenStep Sustainable Tourism Destination Standard has achieved the ‘GSTC-Recognized Standard’ status.
GreenStep Sustainable Tourism Standards are used by GreenStep Solutions in their assessment and verification programs which provide tools, resources, and consultative support to destinations and businesses across the tourism industry. The Sustainable Tourism standards enable tourism businesses and destinations to measure their sustainability performance in several key categories; management, social, economic, natural, cultural, and environmental.
The GSTC-Recognized status refers to the standard itself and means that a sustainable tourism standard or system has been reviewed by GSTC technical experts and the GSTC Assurance Panel and deemed the standard or system equivalent to the GSTC Criteria for sustainable tourism. It shows that the set of standards is based on the 4 pillars of the GSTC Criteria: Environment, Social, Cultural, and Management principles. This does not relate to the process of certification, nor to accreditation.
“We are thrilled to have achieved GSTC-Recognized status for our tourism destination standard,” says Angela Nagy – President & CEO of GreenStep Solutions. “Now our industry and destination partners, customers, and those that are using our complimentary online Sustainability Score assessments can rest assured knowing they are measuring their sustainability performance based on globally accepted best practices and standards.”
“Congratulations to GreenStep for their continued development in providing tools and support for systematic approaches to sustainable tourism,” says Randy Durband, GSTC CEO.
Currently, 11 destination standards, 32 hotel standards, and 14 tour operator standards have achieved GSTC-Recognized status. The status offers the market proof that these standards adhere to international norms. GSTC Recognition does not ensure that a certification process is reliable, only that the set of standards used to certify are equivalent to the GSTC Criteria. GSTC-Recognized standard owners are encouraged to follow and complete the accreditation process, which assures that the certification process used to apply the standard meets international best practice, transparency, and rigor.
About the GSTC
The Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) establishes and manages global sustainable standards, known as the GSTC Criteria. There are two sets: Destination Criteria for public policy-makers and destination managers, and Industry Criteria for hotels and tour operators. These are the guiding principles and minimum requirements that any tourism business or destination should aspire to reach in order to protect and sustain the world’s natural and cultural resources, while ensuring tourism meets its potential as a tool for conservation and poverty alleviation.
The GSTC Criteria form the foundation for Accreditation of Certification Bodies that certify hotels/accommodations, tour operators, and destinations as having sustainable policies and practices in place. GSTC does not directly certify any products or services; but it accredits those that do. The GSTC is an independent and neutral USA-registered 501(c)3 non-profit organization that represents a diverse and global membership, including national and provincial governments, leading travel companies, hotels, tour operators, NGO’s, individuals and communities – all striving to achieve best practices in sustainable tourism.
About GreenStep Solutions
GreenStep Solutions was founded in 2008 to help businesses and organizations measure and improve their sustainability performance. To date, GreenStep has worked with more than 3000 businesses and organizations within several sectors, including private, public, non-profit, and academic institutions; in a variety of industries such as tourism and hospitality, retail, professional services, and manufacturing; and with organizations of all sizes, from owner-operated businesses to publicly traded companies. Through their Sustainable Tourism Division, GreenStep provides assessments, training, strategy, and certifications to tourism businesses and destinations. GreenStep is a Certified B Corporation, is powered by 100% renewable energy with Bullfrog Power, and is Certified Carbon Neutral with Offsetters.